VOL. 129 | NO. 151 | Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Republicans Rally In Bartlett
By Bill Dries
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told a group of several hundred Republicans in Bartlett Monday, Aug. 4, that he would like to see a statewide turnout in the August Republican primaries of 750,000.
Haslam and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander have been on a statewide bus tour since last week to pump up overall Republican turnout even as they face opposition in the GOP primaries for governor and the U.S. Senate. The goal is to also boost the turnout for Republican candidates in local general election races on the ballot.
They were joined at the Bartlett stop by U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Sheriff Bill Oldham, County Trustee David Lenoir and hosted by Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald.
“The more we’ve opened our doors, the more success we’ve had,” Haslam said of the goal. Haslam had said earlier in the campaign season that his effort in the primary would be geared more toward getting out the Republican vote and less concerned with his opposition in the primary.
Haslam’s opposition in his Thursday primary statewide is not considered formidable. And the state Democratic party establishment is not backing any of the contenders in the companion Democratic primary.
Alexander faces Tea Party opposition in Thursday’s primary from state Representative Joe Carr and opposition from Memphis by former Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn.
“We have an open primary. As a result of our open door, we have many candidates,” Alexander said of the opposition. “The result is that we have a larger Republican party, a more conservative Republican party and thanks to Gov. Haslam and the state legislature a more successful Republican party. They are actually doing something with the majority.”
Meanwhile, Democrats have a hard fought race in the four-candidate Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate that has been dominated by Knoxville attorneys Gordon Ball and Terry Adams who have each campaigned heavily in Memphis.